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Industry Regulations

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Fixing San Bernardino's Cannabis Ordinance
I represent the prospective local applicants ECS Labs, Med Products Group, KP Investments, and 4th Street Dispensary. All were denied licenses despite satisfying every requirement, and all were denied based on an extremely questionable application “score”. All except 4th Street Dispensary and Med Products Group are currently parties to the pending lawsuit against the city, accusing it, inter alia, of invalid licensing and other unlawful acts. While my clients’ situations vary, they nevertheless are united in their frustrations with the current legal process. While such litigation is all too common in the emerging area of cannabis law, there is no reason why it must be this way. Ordinance MC-1464 borrows the vast majority of its language from previously-enacted municipal ordinances in other cities. Crucially, most of these ordinances were enacted prior to the establishment of comprehensive statewide law and regulations applicable to medical cannabis (let alone adult-use cannabis). As reflected in the purposes and findings of these ordinances, the policies were primarily an artifact of the absence of state enforcement - and with the passage of Proposition 64, codified by MAUCRSA, - have now been rendered largely irrelevant. By continuing these outdated policies, the city unintentionally doubles down on the barriers to entry into the emerging legal marketplace - with negligible corresponding public safety benefit. The most salient (and infamous) feature of Ordinance MC-1464 is its capping the number of businesses in the city to 1 permit per 12,500 residents, and requiring the city to enact a scoring and selection procedure to deal with the artificial supply limitation. It is important to note that no other business in the City of San Bernardino is subject to such an inflexible limitation. Not even liquor stores or adult businesses are capped in this manner, but rather are subject to specifically-tailored application requirements to ensure compliance and minimize public safety risks.
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How to Make Legal Pot Work in Michigan
Michigan’s policy leaders must lay the groundwork for a safe and legal market in which consumers can gain access to marijuana products that have been tested to ensure they contain no dangerous chemicals or impurities. Implementing a state-run regulatory structure and market for marijuana is a difficult and arduous task. There are dozens of important facets to consider, including what substances to test for, whether to allow for deliveries, how the program will overlap with the state’s still-developing medical marijuana program, collaborating with local governments, and more. The state now has one year to adopt regulations that will help it carry out the new law. A year might sound like a long time, but marijuana regulations in other states often stretch hundreds of pages and Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will likely need to host dozens of meetings to collect public feedback before proceeding. The initiative provides only cursory guidance on some key policy issues. Many elements of these regulations are highly technical and can range from the software integration requirements for businesses seeking licensees with the state to the specific forms of mold or bacteria for which marijuana must be tested.
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